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Montenegro Design Report 2018-2020

Montenegro’s second action plan ended a prolonged period of OGP inactivity in the country. The plan addresses budget transparency, public participation, and electronic services. Most commitments derive from the country’s ongoing Public Administration Reform and the EU accession process. Moving forward, Montenegro could use the OGP process to advance long-term strategic goals, and strengthen transparency in public spending, access to information, and public participation tools.

 

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since:  2012
Action plan under review:  Second
Report type:  Design
Number of commitments: 6

Action plan development
Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values… 3 (50%)
Transformative commitments… 0 (0%)
Potentially starred… (0 %)

Action plan implementation
Starred commitments: N/A
Completed commitments: N/A
Commitments with Major DIOG*: N/A
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: N/A

*DIOG: Did it Open Government?

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Montenegro joined OGP in 2012. Since, Montenegro has implemented one action plan. This report evaluates the design of Montenegro’s second action plan.

General overview of action plan

Montenegro’s second action plan includes commitments closely related to their public administration reform and the country’s EU integration process. Activities include expanding online public participation tools, improving budget transparency, and a study on whistleblower protection. Other activities involve internal administration reforms such as the national identification document, fee collection, and online tax filling; in this context, many milestones are technical portal improvements or studies for recommendations.

The cocreation process was led by the Operations Team (OT), which serves as Montenegro’s multistakeholder forum. Civil society stakeholders had opportunities to participate and submit proposals during the OT meetings and through additional online consultations. However, the short timeframe of the plan’s development prohibited greater engagement, an area for improvement in the future.

Notably, Commitment 2 includes the expansion of online public participation and e-petition tools. Commitment 6 involves developing visual presentations of the state and local budgets, and publishing citizen brochures, as well as conducting a comparative study on whistleblower protection.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Moving forward Status at the end of implementation cycle
Commitment 2: E-Democracy

Improving online tools for public consultations

This commitment improves opportunities for citizens to submit petitions and comment on draft laws. Moving forward, it could be strengthened by increasing the degree to which government officials must incorporate e-petitions and other participatory input into policymaking. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.
Commitment 6: Improved anticorruption policies

Increasing budget transparency and developing whistleblower-protection recommendations

This commitment develops visual presentations of the state and local budgets and publishes citizen brochures. It also proposes a comparative study on whistleblower protection to improve the legal framework. Moving forward, the IRM recommends publishing information on every item of spending, in readable format, and on a regular basis. The IRM also recommends drafting a sperate, standalone whistleblower protection law. Note: this will be assessed at the end of action plan cycle.

Recommendations

The IRM recommendations aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan. Please refer to Section V: General Recommendations for more details on each of the below recommendations.

Table 3. Five KEY IRM Recommendations

Ensure high-level political support for the OGP process and use OGP to advance major strategic goals
Increase transparency in public spending and create opportunities for public oversight and participation
Improve the Law on Free Access to Information and ensure its effective enforcement
Promote institutionalization and use of newly created citizen participation tools
Improve transparency in public procurement and institutionalize open contracting

 

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Filed under: IRM IRM Report

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